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tv   [untitled]    June 23, 2011 9:00pm-9:30pm PDT

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>> hello and welcome to me your district supervisor. we're here with supervisors got scott wiener. he started his first term this january. we are going to get to know him and talk about the issues facing the city. welcome. thank you for joining us today. tell us about your background,
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where you grew up, went to school, and what kind of jobs to have had. >> i grew up in the philadelphia area, in new jersey. i went to school up and down the east coast. i went to undergrad at duke university. i went to law school at harvard. after clerking for a judge, i came out here in 1997. i have been here for the last 14 years. i have always lived in the castro. i am an attorney. i started out in private practice. i settle private law firm during complex commercial litigation. in 2002, and moved over to the sentences the city attorney's office where i worked on the trial team doing trials for the city, handling my own cases, and supervising a team of attorneys as well. >> why did you choose to live in san francisco? >> i always assumed i would go back to the philadelphia area since that is where my family is. i was always interested in san
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francisco in terms of what it is as a city, its culture, it's amazing lgbt community. i came out here for a summer, fell in love with it. i have been interested in politics since i was a kid. i worked on campaigns as a teenager. i was involved campaign against senator jesse helms when i was in college. when i cannot hear, and was not initially involved politically. -- when i came out here, i was not initially involved politically. i helped to build the lgbt community center. i started doing campaigns. i gradually got involved in democratic party politics. i got involved in the alice b. toklas democratic club. i ran for the democratic central committee in 2004.
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i ended up sharing the committee. it was a gradual process for me. by the time i started thinking about running for supervisor, it made sense because of my involvement in the community and in politics. >> what did you learn from campaigning for supervisor? >> i learned a lot. i knocked on about $15,000. -- i knocked about 15,000 doors. i met a huge number of people. that is the best way to learn about the neighborhood, the city, and what people want and what their concerns are. i feel i can do so much more than before and started campaigning. -- i feel like i know so much more than before i started campaigning. we're all part of the left on the national standard. i am a good liberal democrat. in the san francisco spectrum, and probably considered more middle of the road.
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-- i am probably considered more middle-of-the-road. i am very independently comes to the issues. i do not vote the party line. a judge each issue on its merits. that is how i am. >> what do you feel are some of the biggest issues facing san francisco now? >> the budget is the most imminent issue. we do have a structural budget deficit in the city. we need to deal with the short- term balancing of the budget in a way that does not decimate basic city services that people rely on but also to address our long term structural budget deficit. that means implementing budget reforms that will smooth out the budget process so that it is not a boom-bust process. that means reforming our pension and retiree system so that they are stable and do not drain the general fund. that is a big aspect of it.
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another huge issue is the deferred maintenance on our infrastructure. we have a lot of infrastructure that has been deteriorating because we have not maintained properly. that includes roads, sewer systems, muni. we need to be much more diligent about maintaining our infrastructure. some of the big citywide issues that impact the district include transportation. we had more muni service and some other districts. it is not always reliable. some of the major bus lines in the district are not reliable. we have major projects like the renovation of delores park. it is an opportunity to define what the park is and what changes we want to make to it. that is going to be and port project, the same thing with glen canyon that is going to
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undergo a lot of work. one of the most challenging parts of the new district supervisor is that we elect the supervisors by district. it is very important to pay attention to the district, be engaged in the projects in the district. we also represent the whole city. any district supervisor that focuses on the district without addressing the citywide issues is not doing his or her job. every day, i make sure i am working on the major citywide issues and the district issues. i try to be disciplined about that. >> how will you approach the tough choices? >> i think we have to start by looking at the most critical city services that we cannot do
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without. what are the ones that if they deteriorated, we will pay the price on? public safety falls into that category as a basic critical service. transportation, making sure we have the functional muni is critical. core public health services like dealing with mental on this on our streets -- with mental illness on our streets. if we do not provide services, we will pay the price. it works out from there in terms of budget priorities. >> with your plans on dealing with homelessness? >> it is homelessness in general and behavior on the streets. we need to make sure people have access to services. i was a supporter of putting the money we taking the money we're
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putting into the system to provide housing. we need to make sure people have access to services. we need to make sure that we have standards of behavior on our streets. most homeless people did not cause any problems on our streets. they are a small group the causing problems. we need to make sure we have the standards of behavior. there are some kinds of behavior that are not ok and they need to report that. . she mentioned housing needs. what are the housing needs? how should the board of supervisors address these? >> there are a few different areas we need to address. housing affordability or lack there of is a major challenge for the city. it is harder to afford housing in the city if you are lower or middle income. we need to address that. i want to focus on work force housing.
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we do a good job of generating high in housing. we can always do better. we do a decent job providing low-income housing. we do a terrible job providing housing for lower middle class and middle-class people, people who are working and paying taxes. we need to have them here for a functioning economy. i am looking for ways to fund more of that kind of housing, particularly for a central employees like teachers, nurses, first responders. we need to make sure that our development is a transit- oriented. we do not want to encourage suburban sprawl. we want to do infill housing so that people can live near where they work and near public transportation. >> let's talk about public transportation. is there adequate muni service in your district?
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what is the parking and traffic situation like? >> muni is not near where it needs to be. in the caster, we have the subway. -- in the castro, we have the subway. a can be terrific or frustrating. we are next to the bart line. in other parts of the district, is unreliable. the writeridership is lower bece of unreliability. other lines are not as frequent and people not think of using them. we have a particular problem in diamond heights. the neighborhood is served primarily by the 52 line. it is incredibly unreliable.
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the buses miss runs-------. for awhile, muni was ending service at 9:00 or 10:00 at night. it is up on a hill. without service, it is isolated. another thing i am working on is trying to get more taxis onto the street. a world-class taxi system is a complement to any public transportation system. >> how do you think the police department is doing? do you have any thoughts on how the city is dealing with crime? >> i was a big supporter of chief gaston. i think he will do a great job in the district attorney's office. part of me was sad to see him go from the police department. he had come in and started modernizing the department.
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it's technology -- a lot of different changes that needed to happen but were not happening until he came in and start of the department on the right path. it is critical that whoever the next chief of police is continue that modernization of the department. it will have benefits citywide. in my district, we have public safety challenges. the district is often viewed as a "safe district." we do have violence. we had a bunch of violence around delores park last year. there have been robberies in glen park and parts of the valley. there have been shootings in diamond heights. one of the challenges is making sure that the police department understands that even though we may not have the same crime levels as some neighborhoods, we
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still need attention from the police department. >> let's talk about the city's economic development. are we on the right track? what would you like to change about the approach to developing the economy? >> we are getting better. the city as got more proactive about attracting businesses and new industries and providing incentives for them to come and stay here. it is still a very expensive place to do business in terms of the cost of labor, land. we need to make sure that we are not taxing businesses to the point that it is not profitable and we are not attractive for them to be here. we need to reform our payroll tax. that is an incentive not to create jobs. i know the board president david chu is working on possibility this there -- possibilities
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there. i look forward to working with him. we've targeted efforts to revitalize areas and bring industries here with the tax holiday and proposal introduced yesterday relating to parts of the tenderloin to provide some payroll tax relief to encourage businesses like twitter and others to go there. >> the governor has proposed eliminating funding for redevelopment agencies. what is your opinion of the plan? what are your thoughts on the value of redevelopment agencies? >> i think the plan is over- broad. i do not support it as it relates to san francisco's model of redevelopment. our redevelopment agency does tremendous work in san francisco. a lot of projects like treasure island and what is happening in
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hunters point, those kinds of projects would be difficult to achieve without redevelopment. a redevelopment agency is the largest source of affordable housing creation in the city. it has been a huge asset. i understand there are other parts of the state where redevelopment has a different model and is not as positive. there are types of unwise development. redevelopment statewide is in need of reform. san francisco is a model for redevelopment and it needs to stay intact. >> let's talk about the role of sports. are you happy with the plans for the america's cup? should the city spend money to keep the 49ers'? >> i am thrilled about the america's cup. it will not just be an economic boom that creates jobs and long- term economic development. it will help us shore up our
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aging and deterioration appears -- deteriorateing piers. it will help us clear of deferred maintenance. it will be a promotion for the city. people will see the panoramic views of san francisco and want to come here. i would very much like to see forty-niners stay here. what that means, we will have to talk about it. i am not a big fan of massive public subsidies to sports teams. i think we should work hard to keep them here. >> we're almost out of time. are there any other issues or concerns we have not discussed? are there any other specific issues you plan to concentrate on throughout your turn? >> a couple that come to mind.
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i introduced in control legislation to make it easier for tenants displaced by fires or earthquakes or other disasters to find below market replacement meant -- rent while their apartments are being fixed. there are some aspects of our rent control laws that make it difficult to find those kinds of temporary accommodations at below market rent. i have been working with groups on legislation that introduced that will help there. i have also requested an economic impact study to be performed on the entertainment and nightlife industries. it is a very important economic and cultural sector in our city. we have never really taken a look at what it contributes to our economy. i think that is an important piece of information to have to guide policy making in the
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future. i have requested a hearing on the impact of historic preservation of other important policy goals in the city like creating affordable housing, having usable parks and libraries, etc. i want to look at how those different policies interact with each other. those are a few things i am working on. >> we are out of time. we will have to wrap this up. thank you so much for joining us. we have been talking to supervisor wiener from district 8. watch for the next episode of "need your supervisor." we will be back with one of our 11 city supervisors. ♪
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supervisor mirkarimi: i think that the deliberations that came out of the last few months on the question of tax breaks and tax reform have helped us arrive at a particular place that gives us this entree to determining, maybe with our toe in the water, of what it might look like to actually recall tax structure. for most of my adult life, i have spent completely here in san francisco. now about 27 years. i was born in chicago. my father had emigrated from iran to go to school in chicago where he met my mother when he was attending university of
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chicago. that is where i was born. my mother, growing up in that -- growing up for me in the 1960's and 1970's -- was very involved in the war movement and what often take me to protest and lectures. she was also involved in union labor, as her family had been for a couple of generations. my father was the director of ymca in chicago. with the sixth engagement, i think that all was in one variable or another, very influential on me. after my parents had divorced, i spent most of my youth in the state of rhode island. after i graduated high school, i went to the undergraduate college in st. louis, missouri, and came out here for grad school. fell in love with the san francisco bay area appeared all my plans changed, and this became my home.
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>> [inaudible] do we end up with a wells fargo here? another bank of america over there? what projects as going forward? supervisor mirkarimi: you read my mind. that is a perfect segue. i wanted to talk about rezoning, areas that fortified neighborhood interests so there is not another chase situation or wells fargo, or what have you, that should put us in this position again. >> i worked as an environmental analyst for a number of think tanks and then applied to that trade in law enforcement where i went to the san francisco police academy many years ago, graduated from the sfpd class, trained in environmental forensics, both here locally, state, and finally by the u.s. epa in a training center, and i worked with the district attorney's office in san francisco for nine years becoming -- before becoming elected supervisor. i was one of 20 people who co-
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founded the green party in california. i thought that the democratic party in the united states had essentially vacated or left and use a little too much with the political right. in my opinion, there had been insufficient advocacy for people who were left of center. less than to w. years ago, i decided it was time for me to shift direction and said the democrats. that is what this comes down to. that does not take quite as long comparatively to other cities, either. if anything, at least maybe permitting is made to the frustration that red tape business is the way you deal with that reality, but in terms of legislation, good idea actually gets marshall pretty quickly in this city. i love to campaign. i knew that in advance. how i like to campaign is i meet people. i knock on every door in district 5, and i really did enjoy that. but i like grass roots organizing. does not matter what your brand of politics is.
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it should never be subverted. whether you come from the right, middle, or left. you should always want to engage the public and in power the public by them meeting you and you listening to them. that is what has happened around here. thank you. be well. if you look between hagiht and g -- haight and gary streets, you would have seen a complete renaissance. the median is here. the improvements on the sidewalks. this just happened over the last two or three years. the street you are right in the middle of right now is on funding at growth and a visitor. it is an amazing farmer's market that the whole community comes down for pirie whether it is good or bad, i have to tell you, i am the lowly impressed. right here, in front of motor
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bicycles shopping cafe -- mojo bicycle shop and cafe, we have the first part what we're week extended the table seating right on the street, and it is the first one in the city here in district 5, and it serves as a template for other businesses wanting to do the exact same thing. >> there is all -- there's always a lot of discussion about diversity. i think class ever city is something that should not be subordinate to that discussion. i want to make sure that sanford cisco has a working-class population. i want to make sure that we do not take for granted because we are seen as more cosmopolitan, that that excuses' us from not tackling issues of poverty, which there are still substantial pockets of it in san francisco, despite what others may argue. that, to me, oddly it's our requirements, to make sure our city, in its reputation of
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being forward thinking and progressive, learns to make sure that that translates into economic, so that this is not just a city for those who can afford it. we want to get down to brass tacks issues about not just public safety but the root causes that we want to address of job training, job placement, giving our youth something to aspire to, giving young adults something that they can turn to, giving people who feel that they need that extra level of support from city hall, from local government, the ability to be able to reach out -- that is also what tonight is part of. he is the real supervisor, my son. he just turned two last week. i know i was going to grow to be an eco-leader in some respects, but out of the desperation, the fact that we are not getting leadership from the federal
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government and state government, trying to mitigate pervasive environmental harm or answering the larger questions, like of a climate change, or trying to figure out ways that we compensate for insufficient public resources, coming from state government, these are the kinds of things that force us to deal with citywide issues. sometimes, that is the risk of people of accusing us of overstepping our jurisdiction and being a little too heady about dealing with issues that really do not concern san francisco. my response to that is with globalization and with the way that the world has been brought into closer focus and the way that people now have admitted together through social media, there are no borders in this issue, and if there is going to be this kind of policy paralysis on a federal or state level, it is good for municipal government to step up to the plate and start leading the way or a less challenging the other tiers that if you do not do something, then get out.
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>> hello. welcome to "culturewire." we are here today with bay area artist jody chanel, and we are here to see the plaza where your piece has just been installed. >> i have been doing large-scale paintings in the galleries and museums, and the idea that in the future, i could do something that would hang out a little bit longer than the duration of the installation the kind of appeal to me. i quickly found out about the san francisco arts commission school and realized there was a pre-qualified school you had to apply to, so i applied to the